By  on May 3, 2010

Cosabella, the lingerie specialist, is launching its first denim-inspired line of leggings on May 15.

The Cosabella Jeans collection will be sold at major stores such as Neiman Marcus, specialty boutiques and e-commerce sites, including Herroom.com and Zappos.com, said Guido Campello, vice president of sales, marketing and innovation at the Miami-based company.

“We have launched Cosabella Jeans in 12 countries so far, but our reach for Cosabella leggings is now 102 countries,” he said. “Also, our e-commerce business [cosabella.com and cosabella.eu] knows no boundaries.”

The first-year wholesale sales projection is $1.5 million, he said. The company plans to add denim-looking swimwear in June and apparel for spring 2011 in an effort to “really drive this business to a new level in 2012.”

Campello described the look as “a merging of denim and leggings, so we called it Cosabella Jeans....We decided to do faux denim leggings with a printed denim effect. The leggings are lightweight, easy to wash and travel easily.”

The leggings will be available in two versions: a sleek seamless style with printed denim stitching running vertically along the exterior side of the legs, and a washed denim treatment with hosiery printed pocket effects and a Cosabella Jeans logo.

“They are a lighter weight, skintight option to denim brands that are doing legging-type jeans called jeggings,” Campello explained. “The leggings are an alternative to designer denim. They’re opaque and far more stretchable than brands that do denim [woven fabric] with spandex.”

The seamless leggings will be in denim blue, black and white, and are made of a blend of polyamide, elastane and polyurethane. The style with washed effects will be rendered in polyethalene, polyamide and elastane in denim blue and black. The styles will retail for $61, and $75, respectively.

Sizes will be S, M and L for the seamless style, which will be in stores in mid-May, and S, M and ML (medium large) for the washed style, which hits stores June 15. Grenadine and plum shades will be added for fall.

Campello said some stores are creating real estate for legwear and leggings in innerwear departments.

The line “will be merchandised on the lingerie floor at Neiman Marcus, which is building a legwear section,” Campello said.

He added that expansion into other pants looks, such as chinos, will follow.

“We will be looking to do all styles of apparel and swimwear as well as pants,” Campello said. “There will be a wardrobe of fitted leggings in different prints.”

Cosabella Jeans were introduced to retailers at the February market, and the company plans to also gain exposure on the trade show circuit.

“We’ve already committed to the Who’s Next ready-to-wear show in Paris for Cosabella Jeans, which runs Sept. 4, and we’ll be showing Cosabella lingerie at the Salon de la Lingerie at the same time,” Campello said. “In August, we’ll be showing our lingerie at the Curve shows in Las Vegas and New York, and we are now looking at which show to exhibit our leggings at in Las Vegas — Project or MAGIC.”

As for expanding into control leggings, Campello said, “We’ve done leggings with [built-in] shapewear. The reception has been warm but fearful. It’s about the merging of two categories, and it will happen, but it will take some time.”

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